IIHM CHEF TALK AT HYATT REGENCY, KOLKATA

An initiative of IIHM, the second Young Chef Olympiad took place recently, which was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. College students from all over the world took place in this culinary competition held in different cities of India. Students from more than 60 countries participated here and the opening ceremony of this grand Olympiad was held at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi. It was followed by a cook off in four cities: Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The semi finals and finals were held in Kolkata and Daniella of Niagara College, Canada was crowned as the Second Young Chef Olympiad Winner. 

As a part of the YCO event, there was a Chef Talk session organised at Hyatt Regency Kolkata on 31st January, 2016. 
The chef panel consisted of Prof. David Foskett, Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, Chef Abhijit Saha, Chef Shaun Kenworthy, Chef Eric Neo, Chef Andy Verma and Celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur. 

The Chef Talk was moderated by Dr. Suborno Bose, creator of YCO and founder of IIHM. The main intention of the evening was to share knowledge. It was the only time of the year when chefs from all around the globe come together on a same platform. The discussion mainly focused on the Globalization of Culinary Art and how the entire world is now coming to a single place. 
Dr. Suborno Bose with the Chef Panel. PC: Sukanta Pal
Chef Kunal, Prof Foskett and Chef Eric

Prof David Foskett believes that the globalization of food is driven mostly by consumerism. According to him, the world has become really small on the note that communication has become faster. People all around the world get to know about the various international cuisines which enhances their interest in trying new types of cuisines. People have an appetite for travelling. There are a number of people who travel to different destinations around the world to taste the food of that particular region, and this is where food tourism becomes active. Describing the scene of consumers in UK, Prof Foskett says that the choice of consumers is changing and they are always in a lookout for something new. Most people nowadays prefer casual dining over fine dining. 
Chef Eric Neo

On being asked about the current scenario of culinary art and restaurants in Singapore, Chef Eric Neo points out that more people are leaning towards vegetarian options and healthy choices. Yet, in Singapore there are many emerging cuisines, which are done to suite the needs of every person. Chef Eric shares one such experience when he launched a burger menu in his hotel and that menu had over ten types of burgers. Another important point focused on by Chef Eric is that nowadays people opt for quality food, and most of them are ready to pay the price for the best quality. 
Chef Eric and Chef Andy

Chef Andy Verma refers to the world as a "Global Village". He also shared with us about the chefs in his restaurants, where the European Chefs are in charge of the Indian Tandoor and Gulab Jamun, and how extraordinarily good they are. This basically indicates that the barriers in cooking are diminishing to a great level.
Chef Shaun
Apart from this discussion on globalization, Chef Shaun Kenworthy also talked about the future of the restaurants and where exactly is the industry heading towards.
Chef Saha. P.C: Sukanta Pal

Prof Foskett talked about globalization being influenced by consumerism, but Chef Abhijit Saha says that it is the new breed of chefs and the new style of thinking, which is the reason of globalization of food. Nowadays, it is all about globalizing the regional cuisines. The menu is driven by global usage of new ingredients and new techniques of cooking are also incorporated.

Chef Saby

Chef Saby, " The power of chefs should be used for positive things." He discussed about hunger issues and said how a chef can help in these issues. He also stressed on going back to our roots, and following the food that is the base of our culture. 

Chef Kunal Kapur
Chef Kunal talked about the challenges that he has faced while opening his own restaurant in Dubai and how he overcame those. He said that attracting people towards a restaurant is not a tough thing, but retaining them is. He also advised the audience on challenging one's own self. It is the only way a person can polish his own skills. Chef Kunal also pointed out the importance of knowing the regional cuisine. According to him, it is fun in exploring one's root in regional food and replicating the same dish with international produce. 
Chefs from different countries  

The chef talk was followed by an open forum where the audience lay forward their questions and left it for the chefs to answer.
The afternoon ended on a good note, followed by some High Tea organised by Hyatt Regency, Kolkata. Apart from the beverages, there was quite a good range of both vegetarian as well as non vegetarian snacks. The dessert counter pleased me the most with a variety of desserts like cheesecake, truffles, macaroons and many more. The Nolen Gur er Tiramisu was my favorite pick among these. 




I would like to thank IIHM for organising this event and having a knowledgble session with the chefs from around the globe. I was invited as a part of Social Bong Team, along with bloggers Indrajit Lahiri, Rajib Dutta and Sukanta Pal

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